Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 13 in L.A. (Chris Borwn - Yours Truly - Yeah x3)


Now everybody put your hands in the air
Yeah yeah yeah, Girl I wanna, yeah yeah yeah…

What a long and accomplished day. I must admit it was great to get away from the computer and actually work. I woke up around 5:45am and left the house before 7am, caught a train at 7:15am, arrived at Universal Studios Hollywood for the Chris Brown music video shoot before 8:30am. It was easy for me to get there because that’s my stop on the way to visiting my agent.  Here is a front view of Universal Studios Hollywood’s main entrance.


Once I finally found the right gate to enter it was smooth sailing from that point on. I showed my ID and they gave me a pass and pointed to the direction of a shuttle bus. The bus was packed with unique and some weird looking people, (I wonder which category I fit in). The moment the bus dropped us off it was an obviously a serious production site. There were big trucks, tents, chairs and equipment everywhere. The organization was fairly precise. Every 10 mins or less someone was directing the talent with a friendly yet authoritative voice. I wish I had pictures to show you but cameras where prohibited. I had to learn the hard way at first but they were very friendly about it. Shortly after I arrived I pulled out my camera to take a picture of the scenery and they told me not to take any pictures. It’s almost as though they have a sensor built inside of them that tells them when an unidentified camera is being used. 

A stubborn person later in the day was sent home because he was caught taking pictures with his cell phone. After that they put everyone’s cell phone in a bag and held it until the end. When they came to me I was like “what cell phone? I left mine at the tent.” I got away with this one picture of the set before they addressed me. Unfortunately, that’s all I have. You’re going to have to pull deep in your imagination for the rest of this blog. 



Here are N.Y. style production houses. Its great on the out side but there is noting inside. We shot one of the scenes here. You might recognize it when the video comes out. This is the only picture of the set I was able to take all day.
The first couple of hours were spent organizing all of the incoming talent. We signed two forms. One of them distinctly explained that cameras were prohibited. The other was a typical talent release form. Some of the people there were winners of a radio contest. Somehow they won the opportunity to be in the music video. My highlight of the day was during roll call. I was probably the 8th person they called out and this is what happened. One of the assistant directors said, “Motown Maurice.” I said, “I’m here.” He then said, “What’s up Motown?” I said, “I’m cool,” with a big smile on my face. Then he said, “I have a note here that says, “Make sure he still has the tall hair.” He was smiling and you can hear a few giggles from some of the people present.


I thought in my mind maybe I was going to be featured or get some type of bump. A bump is an instant or maybe random pay increase. For example, if a person is asked to smoke a cigarette, they would get a cigarette bump. I learned that from a guy who heard my name and approached me by saying, “Are you from Detroit?” I’m use to that my now. Moreover, nothing special took place with me because of my hair. I can say this much, the assistant director who called my name certainly didn’t forget it. He addressed me by name at least 3 or 4 times throughout the day.


As I patiently waited for our first scene I observed all the different kinds of people there. There was a variety of colors, shapes, ages and sizes present. At first a few people had on their mean mugging face but it was probably because it was so early in the morning. By the end of the day everyone seemed to lighten up. Food was available through the entire day and there was always plenty of water to keep ourselves hydrated. At first they didn’t tell us we could eat but when I saw people with food, I made myself at home.  Some of the rookies stood by watching and asking amongst themselves, “Can we eat?” That’s one area I don’t need direction for. If I see food and I’m hungry I’m going to eat.


While still waiting for the first scene I noticed an energetic group walking by. Then right front and center was Chris Brown. I wasn’t star struck but it’s one of those moments when you can hear your voice in your head loud and clear. One moment there is no voice and then another moment the voice is saying, “Oh, that’s Chris Brown.” He walked right on by and wasted no time working on his dance scenes. Every time I saw Chris for the rest of the day he was playful and happy. Not playful in an immature way but playful in a "life is good" way. He was generally always smiling, happy going and full of energy. He took time out to talk and play with the little kids more than anybody else. Each time I saw him, that voice in my head kept saying, “Man! I need some of that Chris Brown money. I want to play with the kids too.”


Finally, we were assigned our first scene. We had to basically follow Chris Brown around the block during his chorus. At the same time we had to be full of energy. The assistant directors always wanted more and more energy. So of course we did the scene over and over. That process is expected when a video is being shot. They would say things like, “that was good but this time I need 110%." They later revealed no matter how hard you try we'll never reach their version of 110% and we should keep trying either way. I love the way the assistant directors interacted with the talent. They were comical, fun and about business. I think they did a great job.


As I’m looking at everything that’s going...the lights, cameras, jibs, trucks, wires, props, building structure and all the immaculate detail. For the first time I’m realizing why the reporter from the St. Pete Times, Eric Diggens said I was crazy for launching a late night talk show in Tampa. During the first quarter of this year my mind was set to transform Tampa Bay's economy and compete with L.A. and N.Y. in the late night entertainment arena. After this one experience, I realized how crazy I really am. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe anything is possible but it will take a few light years or at least a century for Tampa to get close this market. At the same time it made me realized the capacity of how big my mind can think. What I set forth to do with The Motown Maurice Show earlier this year I very much accomplished it. The revitalization of Tampa’s market on the other hand would take significant change and the effort of thousands of people in 1 accord. That may or may not be possible, simply because Florida was founded as a state of sunshine and retirement. Those are the reasons many people come to Florida and its foundation doesn’t allow it to be a prime place of entertainment.


In addition to that it rains too much in Florida for these types of productions. Early in the morning before my first scene it drizzled for maybe 3 mins. Some people around me seemed shocked, surprised and ran for cover as if the rain was going to make them melt. Floridians walk through the rain like its wind. The song by Toni Tony Tone, “It Never Rains in Southern California” is the truth. I’m learning that everyday from people around here. It really doesn’t rain much here. I heard most of the rain might come in February or March but that’s it. To me this makes complete sense why a lot of these productions wouldn’t work in Florida. Many of them would get rained out. Rain or shine I have a lot of unfinished business in Tampa. I’ll be back and we’ll see Tampa’s response to me then.

During each shoot I used the maximum amount of my energy. It’s the first time in a long time I used so much energy. For the past 8 or more years if I was involved in a production I had to wear multiple hats. If I was in front of the camera I was also writing, directing and involved in the post production. Wearing so many hats can hinder a person’s full performance potential. Fortunately, my focus was to perform and I’m looking forward to it being that way for a while. As we are all running, jumping and dancing I would say maybe 10% of me was trying to get noticed and the other 90% was genuinely an idiot. Yes, I was forming the fool out there. I’m not a dancer but I took it to the bridge many times and with a handful of other moves I can’t describe nor remember.


It felt good releasing that side of me I haven’t seen in years. Those of you who have known me in Tampa over the years have known a mostly serious side of me. Owning and operating my business made me very serious.  I’m still serious when it comes down to business but when I hear the word “action” I can let loose now more than ever before. In my opinion I had one of the highest energy levels out there. However, there is no telling if I’m even going to be seen on the video. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see a glimpse of my high top at the least.

We shot about 5 different scenes and between the breaks and all the retakes it lasted for about 11 hours.  By the 2nd scene I memorized all the words to the song. Check out the song Yeah x3 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlhhSH1p4Jc


Once the music video premieres I’ll be sure to post it ASAP. There is no telling how long it’s going to take to complete. I’m sure the budget and record company has a lot to do with it. After the last scene the assistant director told us he was proud and we’re free to go home. We all clapped it up and made our way to cash out. For such a long day everyone maintained great energy.


After I received my payment I noticed Chris Brown near a group of people signing autographs and taking pictures. Now, before I continue I’m going to retract something I said on day 6 about taking pictures with celebrities.  I said I don’t plan to take pictures with celebrities because I don’t want to represent myself as a groupie. I’m retracting that statement because my comrade Scott made a comment on that post in which I thought was very valid. Scott wrote, “Something to think about, more pictures with big names now, might help get you noticed more…” Following that comment my good friend Wilnar verified his point. As a result, I decided to loosen up and try taking pictures with celebrities again. Thinking back to how I was thinking on day 6 was more of my observation mode than anything else. I’ve observed enough and now I’m ready to interact and make connects.

Chris Brown and Business Cards

Truly, it really don’t matter if celebrities think you’re a groupie or not. They won’t talk business with you in a random place anyway. I approached Chris Brown and he noticed my camera and asked one of his partners to take a picture of us. It was easier than I thought. I waited a few minutes and approached him again. I said, “Chris tight work in that running scene,” (I was referring to the movie Takers) then I started to present one of my bookmarks/business cards and he immediately cut me off, pointed in another direction and said “give it to him.” He had no clue what I was talking about but he differently wasn’t taking any type of promotional material from anyone. I believe I’ve been in a similar situation with another known person before and I completely respect their system.  So instead, I gave it to his associates. He was a big, tall, body guard looking guy. As I gave it to him I said something like, “It’s for my talk show, I’m going to invite Chris when I have it up and running again (something like that.)” I was walking away at the same time but the guy looked back at me and said, “Hey, this is a nice business card you have here.” I replied and said, “Thanks, it’s for my late night talk show.”


So far I think I have been received very well in this state. I’m sure my marketing material, cool name, high top fade and my personality has a lot to do with it. As I meet people and give out my fliers it’s for the main purpose of getting people familiar with my name/face. If Chris Brown even gets a chance to glance at my card then I can say mission accomplished for now. As I said before, everything will come around full circle.


In due time Chris Brown will meet Motown Maurice again. Next time will be under different circumstances. 
Before I tell you how my night took another exciting turning point I have to give a shout to two great people I met. Below is a gorgeous young lady named Dynysty. She was also an extra talent. I simply asked how she doing during our first scene and we maintained friendly companionship for the rest of the day. She’s also the first female I meet since I’ve been here. She said multiple times that I had so much positive energy and I helped her throughout the shoot by keeping her energy level up. Honestly, it’s probably the other way around. She’s one of those people you couldn’t imagine ever being angry or upset. Her personality is contagious and bound for success. I told her when she makes it, let a brother sweep or carry your luggage or something. Before today, she was involved behind the scenes in other productions and now she is making her way to be a main feature soon. Her talents consist of singing, acting, modeling and much more. Success is all over Dynysty and it was a pleasure meeting her. I’m sure she'll be in a movie theater and music store near you soon.

Dynysty & Motown Maurice at the end of the shoot.

I also meet a cool guy named Flawless. He has his own hip hop radio show and has interviewed a handful of big named celebrities. I’m not a hip hop expert but I’m always down for an interview (cough, cough!). We had fun during one of the scenes by improving a slap boxing scene that evolved into a scene of brotherly love. He strikes me as a person I might have known for years. Between one of our breaks we also had a great conversation about Tupac, secret societies and people dying for the sacrifice of others.

Motown Maurice & Flawless after the shoot.

Yeah X3 (Chris Brown) Related: 

After I was done taking pictures I left to make my way towards another gig. As soon as the music video ended I noticed a missed call from a California area code. I figured it had to be about an opportunity. I called back and it was for a Doritos commercial audition. They were in their last hour and wanted to know if I was interested in coming. This industry works fast. I did submit for it and they called me during their last hour to audition. Thank God their location was only 1 train stop away. I confirmed with them over the phone, jumped on the train, got off on Hollywood Highland and walked for about 15 or more minutes. 

When I walked in they immediately said, “It looks like we were saving the best for last.” Then they began to give me background about the audition. It’s for a Doritos commercial that could possibly air during the Super Bowl. They asked a question about my comedic background and my experience with The Motown Maurice Show answered just about all their questions. One of the questions was if I had any problems wearing costumes. That was easy because I basically wore a costume at the end of each of my previous shows. After a few more questions they described a live scenario and I had to act it out. At the end of one scene in particular they responded by saying they were sold. When I was done they told me I was the type they were looking for and if I’m going to be available on the 16th.

They gave me the impression as if I got the part but of course a call is still pending. They did say I should be expecting a call this week. What I liked the most is they recognized my dedication. Just imagine how tired I was after the Chris Brown shoot and without any advance notice I get a call and I made it happen. 

Through it all, I’m glad to be on the grind. I finally got home around 9/10pm. If you haven’t noticed there’s a lot of great momentum flowing around me and I’m going to do my best to keep it that way. I don’t want another weekend to past without work lined up. God willing I will advance with each opportunity. The music video was great and all but hopefully it will be my last one as an extra. We'll see what happens. 

As the quest continues…

Motown Maurice

15 comments:

  1. WOW!!! That is so cool! You are making this all look way too easy! I cant wait to see the video and a Superbowl spot is huge! I wonder what costume they will have you wear? Hmmmm
    This saga is getting better and better everyday!!! ;-)

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  2. Man, Motown, I think this was the best post of them all thus far! I literally laughed-out-loud so hard at some of the things you said, ie.:

    1. "Each time I saw him, that voice in my head kept saying, “Man! I need some of that Chris Brown money. I want to play with the kids too.” lol

    2. "Some people around me seemed shocked, surprised and ran for cover as if the rain was going to make them melt. Floridians walk through the rain like its wind." (true)

    3. "As we are all running, jumping and dancing I would say maybe 10% of me was trying to get noticed and the other 90% was genuinely an idiot. Yes, I was forming the fool out there. I’m not a dancer but I took it to the bridge many times and with a handful of other moves I can’t describe nor remember."

    LOL

    Congratulations, Motown, on all of your successes thus far! Its only been 2 weeks, but you're definately at the right place at the right time! As Martin Lawrence said in one of his episodes, (which is also now one of my personal mottos, but you can use it as well): "This face, belongs on the TIZUBE!" LOL

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  3. Motown, I must say I am not surprised. You have so much talent and determination that nothing can stop you now. Like Scareface said, "The World is Mine!" and you are making it happen. I can imagine you not being star struck, considering you are a STAR yourself. You are definitely doing it in a BIG way and I am so proud to know you. I can picture you at "Wide Awoke Wednesdays" here in Tampa doing ya thang! Now look at you, rubbing shoulders with Chris Brown on Day 13 in L.A. I wish you much success on your Quest and I will be watching when you interview Chris on your Late Night Talk Show.
    Penny in Tampa

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  4. Motown!!!! that is amazing! you are reppin VeroPolo!! thanks so much! anyone ask about the shirt?

    Need any more shirts? we can ship them to you.

    let us know.

    Veronique
    veropolo@veropolo.com
    www.veropolo.org

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  5. Motown, I have been reading your post and I have to say you will make it because you are looking at the end of the journey before you even started the journey. It is always best to see yourself on top of the mountain before you clime it. Continue to be that which you desire and the path that is in front of you will always take you there.
    -Rulx (AKA) JOE

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  6. This is the first time I have tuned into one of your blogs since the departing email to your FB friends and I must say, I'm really glad I read it. You have so much ambition and vitality and I can only see you being successful in your "quest." I truly do wish you the best of luck in all of your expeditions and I will be sure to regularly tune into your blogs. God Bless!!!

    -Liz a FB friend

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  7. I agree with Shimes Motown! This was an awesome post. It definitely loiks like everything is falling into place. Claim that Doritos commercial! If this is the Superbowl commercial, your show will be up and running by next February for sure.

    Keep doing what you do and being authentic because that's what people love. You are doing great and receiving compliments from some great people. I believe this move was a great decision. :)

    God bless!
    -Jessica

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  8. Love the moves you make cuz. Talent cannot be suppressed and in due time it will rise.

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  9. I am so happy for you and I love that you keep moving forward. I see you're doing big things, i'll be waiting for the video. Oh....and i love your posts, keep making me proud :)May God Bless!

    Sherly

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  10. THIS IS OUTSTANDING,,,I KNEW IT..CONTINUE THE ROUTINE YOU ARE GOING..THINGS YOU HAVE MAPED OUT..FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT,,BUILT INSIDE YOU..I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND I COUNT IT AN HONOR TO BE APART OF YOU SHOW AND YOU CONFIDENCE..MAKE IT HAPPEN....THANKS FOR SHARING..BE BLESSED ABUNDANDTLY

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  11. wssp this Arien da 1 who playd jonny in da lil film this is cool n funny keep doin yo thing bro

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  12. I love the pics, with you and Chris and the others. You're a real celebrity now. I agree with the prediction, the next time you both meet together, will be on different circumstances, powerful words. J.M.J strongly received that, blessing is in your goals.

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  13. Motown (CREW)
    Please forgive me for not tellng U this before. I AM SO PROUD OF U. I'm Praying for U and 4 God keep U covered and for him to Order ur steps. Please keep me posted n know that I found more Throw back FAMU pics of us. Keep on keeping on. GIVE ME ONE REASON TO STAY HERE!! (LOL)
    LUV YA CREW CLARICE

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  14. Keep up the good work, your great attitude and your keen for success will get you there!!! Your one of a kind authentic, genius and genuiness , is just what the world needs. I personally thank you for sharing your light and wish more people would would do the same. With all that you have to offer, stay positive, success is in your future!!!!!!! Just don't forget about me (wink). Wish you the best. And please keep sharing your wounderful light with world! Thank you!!! Dynysty.

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  15. Byron “Highlight” GreenOctober 22, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    hey motown this is byron green. Highlight as you may know me i performed on one of your shows a while back the black music celebration.in june (2009)...its been a long while since we spoke n ive been following your blog really proud of u man....u know im a artist trying to break in the industry n frequent several sites with the music....watching on mtv.com the new chris brown video and lo n behold i see you a couple times!! i knew u was one of the extras so looked on the left side a couple times man im proud of u man that is really cool congrats im really inspired by your move to la and going for your dreams!!by the way i thought your dancing coulda been a bit better! lmao! but congrats man im trying to get on my feet myself n once i do i will be sure to be a frequent donor to your cause be on the lookout for me too man got some new stuff congrats man....you know albert gibbs my best friend n friend of yours he lives in san francisco.....man keep doing ur thing God bless you brother one love

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